Prize Stories 1996 by William Abrahams
The O. Henry Awards (Pen / O. Henry Prize Stories)

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Synopsis

For the past three decades, William Abrahams has  selected the O. Henry Award winners. Building on  a tradition that spans over three quarters of a  century, The O. Henry Awards has been "widely  regarded as the nation's most prestigious awards  for short fiction" (The Atlantic  Monthly). Every year, Abrahams has chosen a  diverse group of stories and writers to creat a  collection that includes perennial favorites as well  as an increasing number of lesser known writers,  many of whom have gone on to become seminal voices  in current American fiction. Prize  Stories 1996 is both William Abrahams's  thirtieth anniversary as Editor of this landmark  collection and his last, which gives this collection a  special resonance. The twenty or more stories  selected for this honor each yhear are culled from a  broad range of American magazines both large and  small, offering the reader the full sweep and variety  of today's fiction. As in previous years,  Prize Stories 1996 concludes with a  contributors' notes section including comments by the  writers on the inspirations behind their stories,  providing readers with a unique entrÚe into the  writers' creative processes. Representing the  excellence of contemporary fiction writing, these stories  demonstrate the continuing strenghth and vitality  of the American short story.
 

About William Abrahams

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Published March 1, 1996 by Anchor. 400 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Prize Stories 1996

Kirkus Reviews

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Token space is accorded typical fare from such well-known writers as Joyce Carol Oates, William Hoffman, and Ellen Douglas, but the standouts are Jane Smiley's uncharacteristically forthright ""The Life of the Body,"" Julie Schumacher's plaintive ""Dummies"" (excised from her novel The Body Is Wa...

Apr 17 1996 | Read Full Review of Prize Stories 1996: The O. He...

Publishers Weekly

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and Cynthia Ozick limns a professional woman living in Manhattan who in her 50s decides to model her life after George Eliot's and looks for a George Henry Lewes to fulfill her.

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Publishers Weekly

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And some stories feature timely plots or important themes but are written in prose that is amateurish or unbelievable (Peter Weltner describes gay lovers whose dissatisfactions with each other come to a head when their older gay neighbor dies;

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Publishers Weekly

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Oddly, one of the weaker stories in this year's collection is the one to which Abrahams has awarded first prize, Stephen King's ""The Man in the Black Suit."" Likewise, Joyce Carol Oates weighs in with a rather run-of-the-mill story, ""Mark of Satan,"" but other established writers are nicely sho...

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Entertainment Weekly

In his final edition as the series' editor, 30-year veteran William Abrahams makes good on the reader-friendly promise that each story possess ''its own thumbprint — its own individual identity.'' A- Originally posted May 10, 1996 Published in issue #326 May 10, 1996 Order article reprints

May 10 1996 | Read Full Review of Prize Stories 1996: The O. He...

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